Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Homemade Gravlax

Gravlax on a bagel with cream cheese and capers
We love gravlax. I like it best on a piece of rye bread with cream cheese and capers. Steven likes it best on a bagel with all of the fixins. It is really easy to make. All it takes is really fresh salmon, dill, sugar, a little black pepper, Kosher salt, and a little time. I also use a little vodka but you don't have to.
Gravlax was made by fisherman starting in the middle ages by salting the salmon and buying it in the sand above the high tide line. "Gravlaz" comes from the Scandinavian word "grav" which means grave and "lax" which means salmon. So it literally means "buried salmon." I broke with tradition and used a bit of vodka and I did not bury the salmon in the back yard. Instead, I made a "salmon sandwich," wrapped it in plastic wrap, and placed it in the refrigerator.  The result, beautiful cured salmon.


1 Large Piece of Salmon, Cut in Half
A Big Bunch of Dill
1 Cup (215 g) of Coarse Sea Salt or Kosher Salt
2 Cups (450 g) of Sugar
2 Tsp of Black Pepper
1/4 Cup (60 ml) of Vodka

Mix the salt and sugar together in a bowl. Coat each side of the salmon in the salt/sugar mixture,
Salmon covered in salt and sugar mixture
lightly pepper each side, and place most of the dill on one of the pieces of salmon (so that it will be on the inside of the sandwich).
Salmon covered in sugar, salt, and dill
Place the two pieces of salmon together (skin side out). Place the remaining dill on the outside, pour vodka on top,  and wrap tightly in plastic wrap. Place in a container to catch any liquid that escapes. Cover with books or weights and refrigerate.
Salmon wrapped in plastic wrap ready for the refrigerator
Once to twice a day open up the dill sandwich and baste the fish with the liquids. The gravalx is done when the fish is opaque. This process usually takes 2 to 4 days. When the fish is done, thinly slice it and serve.
Gravlax on a bagel with cream cheese and capers and onions

The bottom line: will I make this again? Yes, I will. It is an inexpensive way to make great cured salmon.

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